The Greek myth of Echo and Narcissus is one true tragedy, full of wasted love and desperate realizations, a myth that gave us its namesake words, which we still use daily. Often told from the perspective of the beautiful Narcissus, Herald K reimagines it through song, from the point of view of the innocent attraction and eternally unrequited love of Echo, by far the more touching side of this sad tale.
The Norwegian, based in Vienna Herald K, a troubadour, and lyricist, who is on his third feature of the angelic voice of Lina Louise, is now venturing into mythology as a theme for his upcoming second album, of which Echo’s Song is part. Imaginatively telling this timeless Greek tragedy from the under-represented side of Echo, the single is wholly moving and incredibly thought-provoking. The duet gently takes turns in laying down minimal, colorful lyrics, leaving space and time for the poetic words to settle and take absolute effect in the listener’s mind, bolstering the proportions of the tragedy, the tragedy of a girl who loved too deeply, but was ultimately unable to get through to her lover’s heart, and of a lover who was terrified of loving anything or anybody more than he loved himself.
A stark contrast between Harald and Lina’s voices and deliveries lends this song a particular depth. The stoic delivery and low tenor voice of Herald, and his near-spoken word delivery of the lines, that brings to mind Nick Cave’s more serene vocal deliveries sits in neat contrast to Lina Louise’s heartfelt and passionate delivery that’s far more fluid and features more apparent movement, even if her melodies are largely just as minimal as Herald. All of this is backed by the warmest of arrangements featuring a dazzling piano, a discreet guitar strumming the elegant and familiar chord progressions, and a traditional instrument called a nyckelharpa that lends this song its unmistakable folk flavor, all done tastefully and with elegant restraint, making Echo’s Song sound eternal and graceful, full of bittersweet emotion, which perfectly suits its haunting lyrics, and the timeless myth from which the lyrics came.
Echo’s Song is a delicate introduction to Herald K’s upcoming album, titled Mythologies. A serene, sad, and beautiful tale, gorgeously retold with 2 contrasting voices, swirling around one another in an elegant dance, backed with a capable band, a charming arrangement, sweet and accessible composition, and an endlessly haunting set of lyrics.